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2020 Update from President Courtney

Updated: Feb 19

Welcome to the New Year and hello to all our new members who signed up over Refreshers Week, you're going to love it here in Glasgow and even more so with the QMU in your life!


What does six months of a sabbatical look like for your average sabb? Most people probably think of countless hours stuck in meetings, taking care of the board of volunteers and staff members, and just generally running about. Which, being quite honest, has been a big part of this year. Diary management, who is she?


Anyone who knows me knows I like statistics for things, so here’s a few highlights from the last six months:

- Board members: about 20.

- Number of hours spent in meetings: countless.

- Events attended: quite a few.

- Amount of tea consumed: limitless.

- Illnesses: 1 freshers’ flu, 1 chest infection, and about 7 mini colds.

- Amount of money spent in the union: too much.

- Number of plants in the office: 12 (7 are mine).

- Dogs: not enough.


Six months ago I wrote a blog post when I first started this position. I talked about how I was binge watching Grey’s Anatomy (I’ve since finished it, I’m not currently binging anything else as I’m struggling to find a show, seriously considering re-starting Grey’s Anatomy…), and about the things I wanted to achieve during my Presidency. Specifically, making sure I get to the day-to-day stuff as well as ensure we move forward with our Strategic Plan. I’d like to think that I’ve achieved quite a bit of the Strategic plan, but truthfully the day-to-day part of the job has been all-consuming and in reality six months is quite a short period of time to achieve some of the bigger things we’d like to do here at the QMU.


In that short amount of time, we have achieved a lot of different things though. We had a fantastic Freshers’ Week, kept up with our club nights Freaking Out The Neighbourhood and Double Denim, continued fundraising an amazing amount for local and international charities, and published some wonderful issues of qmunicate. We’ve also started to realise our identity a bit more. The RedBrick research undertaken in April showed we didn’t have much of an identity and felt a bit lost. Since then, we’ve become more outspoken, raising our voices to highlight issues such as Keychange, the 2019 General Election, standing in solidarity with our Trans friends, as well as Muslim students in India protesting the new Citizenship Amendment Act. Also, we’ve gone dog friendly! More internally we’ve been working on improving our catering offers – has anyone seen our Bistro menu? It’s 10/10. We’ve also been updating our working procedures and policies to improve work for staff members. So, there’s definitely some stuff happening which is a relief considering the sheer amount of time I do spend in meetings!


Despite the successes, it hasn’t been the easiest of six months. The job of a President requires a lot of you, which no one ever really prepares you for. You’re not an expert, but you’re expected to be – as I always tell people though, there’s no perfect person for this job as it’s all about learning as you go. You can only really do your best and hope that it’s the right thing. That’s what’s important to remember, and also not to forget to have some fun along the way and enjoy the year! This year may have been tough so far, but it has had its highlights, and I’ve met some lovely people along the way.


So, what does the next six months have in store for me? The General Election will be my focus in February to ensure we have candidates running for all our amazing representative and executive positions! Once that has happened, my focus until I finish up will be our Finance Submission to the University, as well as preparing training for our new Executive members who will begin in July. I’ll also be looking at what I’ll be doing next after this! I’m happily accepting offers from any party planning or events companies…


So, here’s to the next six months! If you ever need to chat to me, for any reason, you can email me at president@qmunion.org.uk or come find me on the third floor of the QMU – my office is the first door on the left. Hope you enjoy your 2020 xoxo

Courtney Hughes

QMU President 2019/20




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